Walking in Art: animation, comics & cartoons


In 1988 the one shot comic, "The Killing Joke", was released (January 1967). Joker (Batman's greatest enemy) appears, gunning for both the Batman and Commissioner James Gordon. The unfortunate bystander in Joker's revenge is Gordon's librarian daughter, Barbara. Barbara opened
the door and The Joker shot her in the stomach. The bullet severed her spine and she almost bled to death while a more insane than ever Joker was taking pictures of her, who stripped and violated her in unimaginable ways and left her to die. Discovered by a friend joining her for an evening yoga class, Barbara Gordon is rescued and told she will be paralyzed for life.

Initially, Barbara took it bad. She did not want to see anybody, nor to talk about her feelings. She recluded herself in her flat and broke with Jason Bard, the man she was engaged to. She did not even want Nightwing around. Eventually, she decided not to give up her fight against crime and changed her identity to Oracle. As Oracle, she didn't physically fight crime, but used her information-gathering/hacking/computer skills to help Batman and the other heroes of Gotham.

The character Oracle was first established in Suicide Squad #23. It was in Suicide Squad #38 where we learn that Oracle is in actuality, a wheelchair bound Barbara Gordon. She uses her vast knowledge, her photographic  memory, her computer, and a grant from the Wayne Foundation in order to provide assistance for a select few in the crime fighting community. Barbara, as Oracle went on to become the leader of the Birds of Prey. She takes under her wing Helena Kyle (Ashley Scott), the secret daughter of Batman and Catwoman, who quickly grows into the fierce and beautiful "Huntress," and Dinah (Rachel Skarsten), a teenage runaway who is drawn to the city by meta-human visions. With the help of the only honest cop in New Gotham, Detective Jesse Reese (Shemar Moore), the Birds of Prey fight their first battle against a mysterious madwoman (Sherilyn Fenn) who is bent on their destruction.

This is a no-holds-barred take on a truly insane criminal mind, masterfully written by British comics writer Alan Moore. The art by Brian Bolland is so appealing that his depiction of the Joker became a standard and was imitated by many artists to follow. The portrait of her staring in bemused horror at the Joker (standing in the hallway with Hawaiian shirt, camera, and revolver), while the scene turns "orange" in anticipation of bloodshed, one of the most memorable facial expressions ever rendered in a comic book.

In Blind Justice, Batman discovers a series of murders linked to WayneTech and ends up in a wheelchair himself.


The comic-strip tells the story of Anthony Stark, an American industrialist and inventor who is gravely wounded by a booby trap hidden in the jungles of Vietnam. Stark is then taken prisoner by Wong-Chu, an evil communist warlord, and is unable to escape because of the deadly piece of shrapnel lodged in his chest and moving ever closer to his heart. Wong-Chu incarcerates Stark in a lab along with a world renowned inventor, Professor Yinsen. Together, they must create a new weapon for Wong-Chu to use against his enemies. Instead, they secretly build a powerful suit of armor which contains a device that will slow the shrapnel's movement towards Stark's injured heart. At the price of Yinsen's life, Stark has enough time to put on the grey suit of iron and power it. The following momentous battle is Iron Man's baptism of fire.

Stark is subsequently be shot by a jealous ex-lover (issues 242-243) and end up in a wheelchair. In following issues he spends more and more of the time in his cybernetically controlled armor, which allows him to walk. In issue 248 an experimental bio chip is implanted  into his spinal cord.It is an organic computer that "instructs" the cells to repair Stark's damaged spinal cord and allows him to walk agin (issue 248). This is the armor featured in the Marvel Super-heroes "Quick Change Armor" Iron Man..He will then travel through time once more alongside the evil Doctor Doom (issues 249-250), but in the future this time, in a story that ties in with the one that occured in issues 149-150.In issue 248 an experimental bio chip is implanted in Tony's back..


from Cartoon Stock (copyrighted)

Maxi Cat, from Rembrandt Films' Maxi Cat and Friends series, Palm Plus Productions © 1997 Zagreb Film/Rembrandt Films.

Nicolas Scapel, Stanford

Keep her walking for breast cancer